Friday, October 30, 2015

ML's Worth a Watch: Murdoch Mysteries

Today I would like to share with you one of my favourite television shows. Since cancelling our cable package well over a year ago, there are only a couple of shows I made a point to keep up with. One of those shows is called Murdoch Mysteries.

Image from IMDB

Adapted from a series of books by Maureen Jennings, Murdoch Mysteries follows a detective in the late 1800's - early 1900's Toronto. It was originally aired as a 2 part made for television movie in 2004 and was picked up as a series in 2008 on City TV. It ran on this channel until 2013 when it was moved to CBC.

The 9th season of Murdoch Mysteries is currently airs Monday night at 8 PM, E.S.T.

It features a wonderful cast of characters ranging from the handsome Yannick Bisson as Detective Murdoch himself and comedian Jonny Harris as Constable Crabtree. It has also been host to many guest stars portraying public figures from the time period. Most recently William Shatner guest starred as Mark Twain.

Here is a preview of the current season:

For more information about the show, visit

To learn more about Maureen Jennings Detective Murdoch book series click the link for her Goodreads page.

I would recommend this show to those who enjoy period mysteries with a side of humor.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

Title: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Author: Rebecca Wells
Published: June 2002 (Originally published: January 1996)
Published By: HarperTorch
Format Read: Paperback, Movie Cover Edition
Genre: Contemporary, Historical Fiction
Date Read: October 25 2015
Rating: 4/5

At 40-years old Siddalee Walker is a successful director and is engaged to the man of her dreams; a colleague by the name of Conner McGill. Life is well until an article is published about her life that paints her southern belle mother in a less than desirable light. Viviane Abbott Walker is ousted as an abusive alcoholic and by her own daughter none the less. She orders the entire family (including her three best friends) to shun Sidda and made plans to disown her altogether. But are those accusations true? Readers follow along as Sidda remembers the difficult times from her childhood and learns about her mother’s past heartbreaks, with the help of a scrapbook entitled “Divine Secrets” and the three Ya-Ya sisters who played such a formative role in her upbringing. Sidda is taken on a journey of discovery. 

The First Time Around
I first read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood many years ago in my early teens. In fact it may have been one of the first adult genre books I’ve ever read. It must have been the title that caught my eye. Still to this day, it sounds like a glamorous story to be told. However, for some reason I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Thinking back to that time I wonder if maybe the content was a bit too mature for me. For whatever reason it was, I just didn’t give it the attention I now believe it deserved. Considering at that time I had recently moved on from reading middle grade to young adult, perhaps the severity of the subject matter made me feel uncomfortable. 

A Second Go
Now, after all these years later my taste in books have evolved and I have certainly matured, I decided to give Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood another shot. After all the multiple time period, family saga type is right up my alley. Well, as it turns out I enjoyed this book much more the second time around. 

What I Liked  
Beginning in 1993, Sidda brings readers back to her childhood growing up in Thornton Louisiana in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Then via clippings from the scrapbook, Vivi’s memories and the Ya-Ya’s retellings, we are taken back even further to the 1930’s and 1940’s. The descriptions of the clothing and lifestyle were quite captivating. Most specifically when the 4 Ya-Ya’s travelled to Atlanta Georgia for the original premier of Gone With the Wind. Another aspect of this of this story I enjoyed was the special bond Vivi shared with her lifelong friends; Teensy, Niecey and Caro. What woman wouldn’t love to have that kind of support and love? These women stuck together through thick and thin, sorrow and happiness. 

Our two main characters are the barriers that kept me from giving this book a 5 star rating. Truth be told, I wasn’t overly fond of Sidda and Vivi. I understand why Sidda was the way she was. Like her mother she was a product of her harsh up-bringing. Although it was her jealousy of her mother and her relationship to the Ya-Ya’s that left a bad impression upon me. As for “Vivi Dahlin’”, she came across as an entitled brat from the start. She demanded to be in the spotlight constantly, even above her children. But oh was she ever glamorous! 

Worth a Read
Despite not loving Sidda and Vivi, I really did enjoy re-reading Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I would recommend this book to others, especially those who loved The Help.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cover Characteristic -Eyes

Cover and Characteristic is a new meme which is hosted by Sugar & Snark, where bloggers list different covers with a selected theme. 

Last week I joined up with the Cover Characteristic meme for the first time. It was a fun challenge that proved to be a bit difficult trying to find book covers with phones on them. I limited myself to books I have either read or have on my TBR. 

This week I have decided to join up with them again for a new theme. This week we are all posting book covers that focus on eyes. 

This edition of Joy Fielding's See Jane Run depicts the fear of the main character. 

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

How can you not fall in love with those cute puppy eyes from the cover of John Grogan's Marley and Me

This isn't exactly my favourite cover for Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, but it sure suits this category.

Sabotaged is the 5th book in Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage series, which I am hoping to begin reading in the very near future. Look at how arresting the cover models eyes are. Beautiful.

Well that's it for this weeks Cover Characteristic. Which cover is your favourite? I think the top spot (in my opinion) goes to Sabotaged.

Did you participate this week? If so I'd love to check out your response. Be sure to leave me your link in the comments.

All images from Goodreads

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a weekly meme that is hosted by Kathryn from The Book Date.

I just wanted to do a quick post about my current reads, seeing as how I didn't participate in The Sunday Post or Stacking the Shelves yesterday.

Yesterday I finished re-reading:

I am making good progress on an audio version of:

And next up on my TBR is:

The only problem is that I have been having trouble with my Aldiko eReader app. For the past few weeks whenever I would try to read an eBook in that program it kept crashing. After messaging back and forth with Aldiko Support, they sent me a file to fix the problem. This worked good for a couple of days. But now as I am getting ready to read some titles with looming deadlines, I am experiencing trouble yet again. This time however it won't let me sign into the Adobe DMR, even though I am typing in the correct ID and password.

Has anyone else experienced problems with Aldiko? If so were you able to fix it?

Thankfully I am able to read these books via OverDrive. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.


Images from Goodreads 

My East Coast Summer Vacation Pt. 5 (Fortress of Louisbourg)

Welcome to the 5th and final installment of My East Coast Summer Vacation series. Back in July I went on a road trip with my parents. We traveled from our home in Ontario through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and then finally to our vacation home in Newfoundland.

If you are just tuning in and would like to check out the first 4 posts in my vacation series check out the links below:

Part 1: Quebec-New Brunswick
Part 2: New Brunswick-P.E.I (1)
Part 3: PEI (2)
Part 4: PEI (3)

After a wonderful time on Prince Edward Island, it was time to check out of our hotel and hit the road once again. Our next destination was North Sydney, Nova Scotia where we would board the ferry to Newfoundland.

Instead of traveling back across the Confederation Bridge, we crossed the Northumberland Strait on the MV Confederation ferry.

Image from
Because this route cut several hours off our traveling time, we had the majority of the day free before we were required to check in at the North Sydney boat terminal. With the help of a tour guide aboard the MV Confederation we looked into some tourist attractions that were along our driving route. She suggested a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg, which wasn't very far from North Sydney. Being the history lover I am, I convinced my parents that this would be a great way to spend the day. They agreed and off we went.

Tourism Nova Scotia describes it as:
A visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site in Cape Breton is like taking a step back in history to a time when the French and English crowns fought for control of the New World, and all of Nova Scotia was a battleground. The Fortress is the largest historical reconstruction in North America and offers an incredible window to all aspects of life as lived by some of our first European settlers.
Upon arriving at the location, we bought our entrance tickets and boarded a bus for a short ride out to the Fortresses main gatehouse.

As you can see from my pictures it was a very foggy and damp day. You would think this would have made for a miserable tour, but instead it just added to the ominous feeling of a potential invasion. It perfectly set the mood for this historical reconstruction.

The cannons were ready to be fired if need be. And just look how thick those walls were. This settlement was quite large with a huge amount of information visitors can take in.

Each building was open for visitors to walk through. They were set up like that of the period when the Fortress was originally occupied. Staff were all dressed in period costume, each playing the role of the different classes of settlers that may have inhabited this village.

The further into the village we walked the more prosperous the homes became. The above pictures show a barn and yard area where there were actual animals. Also pictured are the beautiful gardens. It was interesting to talk to the staff and learn about what life was like way back when. Some of my favourite parts were watching a lady demonstrate how lace is made and a demonstration of popular dances of the time period.

There was also many activities for children, a dining room, rum tasting (for adults of course) and so much more. We could have spent two days at the Fortress and still wouldn't have learned everything there was to know about its history.

It was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in French and British history in the New World.

For more information on the Fortress of Louisbourg check out the following website:

Fortress of Louisbourg

After finishing up our tour it was time to head back to North Sydney and get in line for our ferry to Newfoundland.

I spent almost 2 weeks in Newfoundland visiting with my family and enjoying the cooler weather. I am not one for the heat of an Ontario summer so getting away was a welcome trip for me. I really was born and raised in the wrong province ha. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share from this leg of my vacation because we didn't do any touring.

All in all I had a wonderful time traveling through the east coast of my country. There is still so much I would like to see and experience in each of those places and I hope to get the chance to do it all again sometime in the future.

I hope you all enjoyed my vacation series and stay tuned for more posts like this in the future.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Fall Time Cozy Book Tag

A couple of weeks ago I was tagged to do The Fall Time Cozy Book Tag by Soudha over at Of Stacks and Cups, but haven't had a chance to do it until now. So I'd like to send out a big thank you to her and sorry it took me so long.

Be sure to check out her response and the original which was created by Sam at Novels and Nonsense, at the links below. 

Soudha's Response
The Original Fall Time Cozy Book Tag

And.. here is my response:

Crunching Leaves 
The world is full of colour. Chose a book that has reds, oranges or yellows on the cover.
Cozy Sweater
It's finally cold enough to don warm, cozy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies? 

Fall Storm

 The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book or genre that you like to read on a stormy day.
Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom because it is a heart warming story that will take the readers mind off the stormy weather. 

Cool Crisp Air
What's the coolest character you'd want to trade places with? 
Anne Shirley during the time of Anne of the Island. Because then I would get to enjoy both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. 

Hot Apple Cider 
What under-hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?
I would like to wish all the success in the word to Judy Penz Sheluk with her debut book The Hanged Man's Noose (A Glass Dolphin Mystery #1).

Coat, Scarves and Mittens
The weather has turned cold and it's time to cover up. What's the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden from public?
No picture for this one, sorry. I have a children's book stashed away somewhere that I was given by a friend as a joke. I can't remember the name of it now (and I'm not even sure where it is at the moment), but it has something to do with baseball. 

Pumpkin Spice
What's your favourite fall time comfort food or drink? 
I loooove caramel dipped apples with peanuts. So yummy. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my tag. I would love to hear about your fall favourites as well. Leave me a message in the comments. Also if you have completed this tag, leave your link as well.

Happy fall!

Book images:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon

Title: Pane and Suffering
Author: Cheryl Hollon
Published: September 2015
Published By: Kensington
Format Read: eBook, Kobo, NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Date Read: October 19 2015
Rating: 3/5 

I was sent a copy of Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon from the publisher via NetGlley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Savannah Webb returns to her hometown of St. Petersburg Florida following the unexpected death of her father. Her intention is to sell his glass shop to their good family friend Hugh Trevor, but when he is found dead in the workshop, she begins to suspect that perhaps her father’s death is connected. Savannah is then left to teach her father’s glass art class with a cast of quirky students and an awkward apprentice, while mourning her losses and trying to decide the fate of the shop. When she discovers coded messages her father wrote her before his death she takes it upon herself to solve the mystery. 

Pane and Suffering was a quick cozy mystery that kept my attention throughout. I particularly enjoyed the setting in a glass shop. I found this to be quite unique, especially for a murder mystery. The author really showcased her knowledge in glass art. She even featured a glossary for terms relating to glasswork in the back of the book. For this reason Pane and Suffering would be best enjoyed in physical book format, rather than in an eBook, in case the reader is interested in referencing any of the terms mentioned. I learned a lot about this craft and it has inspired me to do some more research into it, for my own personal knowledge. Another interesting point to this story was the mention of geocaching and how Savannah’s father used their hobby to guide his daughter to solve the mystery. 

The use of geocaching and ciphers in this story made for an interesting engaging discovery, however I don’t think it was utilized to its fullest extent. The author used some foreshadowing throughout, which helped narrow down motives for the crimes. Yet in the end when the murders were solved I didn’t feel as if they were fully explained. I don’t know if this lack of information was due to length restrictions or the fact that the author wanted the reader to use their imaginations, but I would have been more satisfied with a more descriptive conclusion. 

Despite a couple of my own personal grievances, I did enjoy Cheryl Hollon’s Pane and Suffering and would recommend it to cozy mystery fans.